With the rise of high powered LED technology and their use in the street lighting industry, we have seen an influx of LED lanterns hit the market.
Along with this, new manufacturers have been born, the familiar names are mixed with the not so familiar and the choice can appear to be a gamble at times.
So with such an array (no pun intended) of LED lanterns out there, how do we best select a suitable solution?
Firstly, the decision between cost and quality must be made - that doesn't necessarily mean that low cost = low quality, the competition in the marketplace is high creating the extremely competitive environment we see today... however, it still plays a part as with any purchase. Buy cheap, buy twice.. maybe? Maybe not.
Below I have outlined some things to consider when searching for and selecting an LED lantern:
General - does the unit come with a warranty? How long is the warranty? This can be a good indicator of quality. I would look for a warranty of at least ten years; one that covers the entire lantern (including the driver).
Performance - a key consideration is how the lantern performs, carry out some comparisons of performance for typical applications and determine which performs best. This should also take into account the overall power consumption of the unit. Some performance comparisons:
- Lumens per watt (efficacy) of the final product (not LED chip)
- Glare control. Does the lantern provide good light distribution characteristics
- Life expectancy
LEDs - what LED chips are being used? Research the LED chip manufacturer, is the company reputable?
Driver - what driver has been specified? What's the life expectancy? Is it DALI compatible? Surge protection?
Fixture - what is the finish? Will it last the expected/required life period? IK and IP ratings should be investigated and confirmed as adequate for the application.
Versatility - can the lantern be mounted post top or side entry with little fuss and labour input?
Future proofing - things to consider:
- ease of LED and driver replacement
- DALI compatible driver
- 7 Pin NEMA Socket
Environmental impact - where is the lantern manufactured? Is it local? Can the unit be recycled? Consider delivery options; do you need them delivered in a box, can the boxes be returned with the next delivery?
Price - how does the price compare to similar performing models? What is the total life cost of the lantern (taking into account initial purchase cost, energy and maintenance)?
These are just a few tips and it is not an exhaustive list or a complete guide on the selection of LEDs. I recommend that further research is carried out when selecting an appropriate lantern.
If you require assistance with preparing comparisons or evaluating an LED street lighting solution, please get in touch.
All the best,